Back to College
 
  main | site map | search | features | journal | forums | bookshelf | contact | newsletter  
The Library












 

Write Your Resumé the Easy Way
(Continued)

Step Two
Once you know the position you want, identify the skills, personality traits, training, education and experience needed for that objective. These will be your selling points, or areas of emphasis. For example, does the position require excellent communication skills, or instead demand analytical or organizational abilities? Determine exactly what skills or abilities are needed for the job you want, listing several of the skills required. This is what the employer will be looking for.

After you know what the employer wants, show how your accomplishments, training, skills and experience fit. Ask, “How did I use those same skills in the past?” List the strongest abilities, training, and accomplishments that make you a good candidate for the position. Next, write a summary of qualifications by highlighting relevant experience, training, and credentials, mentioning a few significant accomplishments, and one or two outstanding skills or abilities. If you don't write a summary, your best stuff will be buried in your resume, waiting for the employer to find it. The purpose of a summary is to show up front that you are qualified and that you are especially talented in areas that matter to the employer.

Step Three
After you write a summary, you can develop your work history. The important thing to remember is that when listing past experience, don't write boring, generic job descriptions. Although many will tell you to use “action” verbs, don't get carried away with “supervised the stock room,” “calculated figures for budget”, and “took meeting minutes for vice-president,” ad infinitum. How does that make you stand out from the crowd? Instead, describe the benefits or results of your activities and how you achieved them. For instance, did you increase efficiency or organization, help save money, solve a pressing problem, or increase company revenues? An example might be, “Saved employer thirty-three percent by conscientious and meticulous quality management.” Be sure to focus on what you enjoyed, and what gave you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Remember, the employer isn't interested in job descriptions. He or she wants to know how hiring you will benefit the organization.

Step Four
You are nearly finished! All that remains is to list your pertinent education and training, including any related study in your field, and any special skills or proficiencies that make you a desirable candidate. Don't list skills or proficiences you dislike, or that are unrelated to the job you seek. You don't want to spend a lot of time typing or adding figures, do you, just because you're fast?

As you add the final touches, try not to aim for developing one perfect resume, with a one-size-fits-all philosophy. In other words, don't send the same resume to several different employers, with only your cover letter changed (or only the employer's name and address.) Be careful to target each resume for each position applied for. With this specific objective in mind, you can cite accomplishments, key words, skills and personality traits that mirror its requirements.

A Final Word
Before you print out your resume or send it to the typesetter, carefully proofread and check your final draft. Be sure you are clear and concise, and be extra careful to find the lowly grammatical error or inadvertent typo. Neglect in this area can send your resume mercilessly into the now bulging paper shredder, no matter what your qualifications. It's a little like sporting scuffed shoes, missing a button, or wearing a zapped pants zipper to an interview. You may be perfect for the job, but your presentation just lacked that little finesse!

See alsoPut Your Resume on the Web.
Candidates today no longer rely on a traditional job search.

ęCopyright 1998-2005 WD Communications LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Policies.

main | site map | search | contact | advertise